Five rides for different stables at Haydock today and hopefully some a winner or two.
Black Key has his first run for the McCain yard in this listed hurdle, having transferred from the Henry De Bromhead stable. He returns from a 115-day break and with two wins in his last three outings at Galway and Listowel. Grand Sancy has won two of his last three and finished second in the other, a listed contest. It is a competitive five runner event and I hope my horse, with plenty of experience, can make a race of it with the Nicholl’s runner.
Grand Sancy is the main threat.
Very First Time won two three-mile chases for me in late 17 before coming up short in competitive handicaps at Cheltenham and Aintree. He returns to action after a seven-month break and a recapture of the form of this time last year would give him a great Each Way chance. Bottom weight, Little Bruce won well at Hexham two weeks ago and despite an eight pounds penalty will be a major threat.
Little Bruce will be the threat.
Kalondra a winner of six under rules has failed to complete on his last two outings including last Saturday at Cheltenham when favourite for the BetVictor Gold Cup handicap. He boasts some excellent form in his previous four attempts and a clear round should put him right in contention.
It is a tricky contest with perhaps French import Magic Saint, from last years successful stable the danger.
A winner of seven races for me returns, after a 226-day break and wind surgery. He is a high-class horse, who goes well fresh and I am expecting a big run.
Mr Anatolini is a winner of the Imperial Cup. He ran well at Cheltenham in October and is possibly the main rival.
Shades Of Midnight, a winner of four hurdles, shaped well on return from a 196-day break at Ayr three weeks ago. Finishing third, beaten by four and a half lengths. He is a consistent type who should improve for the run and the reapplied cheekpieces.
First Assignment was very impressive at Cheltenham last week and despite a five-pound penalty is likely to complete the hat trick.
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